Join me by linking up on Suscipio to thank God for this past week.
This week, stained glass windows and icons have captured my attention.
I even created pages for Catholic art on my blog this week because I refused to hide them on Pinterest. When the Holy Spirit inspires artists to create art with, through and in Him, their creations touch our inner selves. They are not only beautiful but also imbued with a mystical essence which gives them spiritual power.
When light shines through stained glass windows, they can lift our souls up from our own narrow miserable awareness into His presence as we contemplate them. Light is more powerful than darkness and beautiful colourful glass works of art can touch us with a mystical, heavenly light that moves our hearts and souls towards God. No wonder stained glass windows were developed in the Middle Ages as a way of teaching illiterate parishioners the basic Christian message and inspiring them to live holy, prayerful lives.
Icon painters fast and pray as they paint, layering colours one on top of the other. This technique gives the icon a unique richness and depth. The effect of this technique is most obvious in the eyes which do not seem flat but rather realistic with depth and soul. The icons themselves have absorbed the Holy Spirit and really are holy.They radiate the power of God and wordlessly, draw us into His heart, just like a sacramental.
Because we live on earth, in “earthen vessels”, one of the ways to reach our spirit is through our senses. That’s why sacramental churches use incense, bells, candles, stained glass, icons, statues, holy pictures and holy water, touching our sense of smell, sight, hearing and touch. It is a way of waking up our slumbering spirit buried deep within us. Sacramental and religious art help create a peaceful atmosphere of prayer in our churches and on my blog, I hope.